USS Panama

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Motorboat Panama (1914).jpg
Panama as a civilian motorboat, sometime between 1914 and 1917.
United States
Name: USS Panama
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Luther Finder, Key West, Florida
Completed: 1914
Acquired: 29 April 1917
Commissioned: 26 May 1917
Fate: Transferred to United States Department of Agriculture 4 November 1920
Notes: Operated as private motorboat Panama 1914-1917
General characteristics
Type: Patrol vessel
Displacement: 78 tons
Length: 78 ft (24 m)
Beam: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Draft: 4 ft (1.2 m)
Speed: 9.5 knots

USS Panama (SP-101) was an armed motorboat that served in the United States Navy as a patrol vessel from 1917 to 1920.

Panama was built as a civilian motorboat in 1914 by Luther Finder, at Key West, Florida. During her period in commercial service, she saw extensive use in laying underwater telegraph cable for Western Union in and around Key West, and may also have been used as a passenger ship.

The U.S. Navy acquired Panama from the Miami and Nassau Passenger Line on 29 April 1917 for use as a patrol boat during World War I. She was commissioned on 26 May 1917 as USS Panama (SP-101).

Panama was assigned to the 7th Naval District, headquartered at Key West. She patrolling in and around Key West during the war and occasionally operated in Caribbean waters. On 24 August 1918, during a voyage from the Panama Canal Zone to the United States, she sighted two possible German submarines on her port bow. She pursued them until dark, despite heavy weather which prevented a surface attack.

Panama was transferred to the United States Department of Agriculture on 4 November 1920.